U.S. Supreme Court

Supreme Court refuses to temporarily block California's ban on flavored tobacco

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The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday turned down an emergency request to block California’s ban on the sale of flavored tobacco products.

The Supreme Court rejected tobacco companies’ request for an emergency injunction pending appeal, report Reuters, SCOTUSblog, the Associated Press and the New York Times.

The R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. and other makers of tobacco had argued in their emergency application that the state’s ban is preempted by the federal Tobacco Control Act.

The tobacco companies argue that a 2022 federal appeals decision that controlled the outcome of the case “is manifestly wrong.” In that decision, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. County of Los Angeles, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at San Francisco upheld Los Angeles County’s ban on the sale of flavored tobacco.

A cert petition in the Los Angeles County case is pending before the Supreme Court.

The new case is R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. v. Bonta.

The California legislature initially passed a ban on flavored tobacco products in the state in 2020. But the ban was put on hold to allow voters to decide the issue; they approved the flavored-tobacco ban in November.

The ban prevents the R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. from selling menthol cigarettes in California, the emergency application says. Menthol cigarettes make up one-third of the cigarette market.

The Food and Drug administration has already banned most flavored e-cigarettes, but menthol and tobacco flavors are allowed, according to Reuters.

See also:

ABAJournal.com: “Smoker can sue tobacco company for consumer fraud, even though she didn’t use its products, state supreme court says”

ABAJournal.com: “$37M verdict reversed after lawyer calls makers of tobacco ‘soulless enterprise of death’”

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